Jason Cheek is the new Principal of Switzerland County High School.
Cheek was officially hired by the Switzerland County School Board at their meeting on Monday night, and will officially assume his duties on July 1st — but expect to see him in the community much sooner.
“I’m excited and looking forward to the opportunity,” Cheek said Tuesday morning. “I think July 1st is when the contract actually starts. I’ll be finishing up my duties here as the assistant principal and athletic director at the middle school, and then I’ll probably start well before then, getting things in place and working with the teachers and Mr. Todd and Mr. Hite to get things rolling. I don’t look for too much down time.”
He is currently the assistant principal at South Dearborn Middle School in Aurora, and has deep roots there. A graduate of South Dearborn High School, Cheek has been in public education for 23 years.
“I started out here at South Dearborn with my first job teaching,” Cheek said. “I taught at South Dearborn High School for 10 years as a PE and health teacher. Then for the next eight years, I worked as assistant principal at the high school level. Actually one of those eight years I served as the interim principal during a change over when Rob Morehead left to be the superintendent at South Ripley.”
From there, Cheek went back into his role as assistant principal, and then became the principal at the middle school in 2015. He then transitioned back into the assistant principal’s role this school year.
“Quite a few years in administration there, and 10 years in the classroom,” Cheek said.
What excited Cheek about the principal’s position here at Switzerland County?
“I always thought Switzerland County was a great school community,” he said. “Over the years, I got to know people from the Switzerland County area throughout the years. I just really felt that the community supported their school, and I think that that support is something that excites me. It’s a tight knit group. It’s just something that I think is going to be a fantastic opportunity.”
Cheek said that he found out about the principal’s opening through a job posting, and although the position was attractive, as a father and parent there were some family considerations.
“My kids are in school here at South Dearborn, and will remain here, at least for now and stay here with their friends,” he said. “I talked with Mr. Hite, and just felt that, after talking with my wife and my family that this was a fantastic opportunity.”
Cheek already has a connection here with the schools, as his wife, Kristie, is a language pathologist working at Switzerland County Elementary School.
“We’re very excited,” he said. “She loves her job there, and I know that from talking with Mr. Todd and Mr. Hite — and I’ve gotten to know several of the teachers a little bit from the conversations we’ve had last night and when I interviewed the first time — that it’s a great group of people, and I’m looking forward to continuing a positive school culture there.”
Jason and Kristie have two sons: Carson, is in the eighth grade at South Dearborn Middle School; and Cameron is a sixth grader at Aurora Elementary School.
And there is one focus that Cheek has as he begins his tenure here — the students.
“I think that’s how you get the most from your students — putting them first,” he said. “I’ll being working hard for them every day, and we’ll continue to be positive with the staff and the students. I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for me. I’m going to do everything I can to do what’s best for the kids and the community.”